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Flowers For The Queen

On The Town column, The Irish Times - 20 June 1998

by Louise East

The Busiest Week Award goes to the Hothouse Flowers who were the opening act for both the queen and the Rolling Stones within the space of four days. And yes, that is the queen as in the British monarch and not the grandiose 1970s rock band. The band, who have just released a new album, Born, were headlining Fiesta Celtica, part of the ceremony to end the EU summit in Cardiff on Monday night. They arrived on stage just after the queen's speech was on the huge video screens.

"Thank you very much your majesty and all the rest of the queens out there," shouted Liam O'Maonlai, much to the amusement of the Welsh crowd. The Flowers played a stomping concert, delaying the crowned one's return by 15 minutes.

After the Cardiff concert, the band hot-footed it over to Bilbao in Spain, to open for the Rolling Stones.

There are tight links between the two bands - the Flowers played on the last Stones album and Flowers drummer Wayne Sheehy used to work with Ronnie Wood.